Speakers to Share 'Breakthrough Moments' at TEDxIWU

The last TEDx event in Bloomington -Normal was at the Normal Theater in October 2016. (Photo Credit: State Farm)

The last TEDx event in Bloomington -Normal was at the Normal Theater in October 2016. (Photo Credit: State Farm)

Fans of the online speaker series TED Talks can hear local leaders and innovators share their ideas live at TEDxIWU this Friday.

Illinois Wesleyan University students, alumni, faculty and staff will talk about their “Breakthrough Moments” from 4:00-8:00 p.m. at the Hansen Student Center, 300 E. Beecher Street in Bloomington.

The event is free and open to the public.

Bevin Choban, coordinator of the Action Resource Center (ARC) at IWU, helped bring the TEDx event to the university. The ARC is an interdisciplinary program to help students get out of what Choban called the “Wesleyan bubble” and into the community to make a difference.

“For a number of years we in the ARC office have loved TED Talks,” said Choban. “Being positioned as we are between the university and the community...we felt like we could think of all kinds of people with really great ideas and stories that would be great for the stage.”

Choban said every one of the TEDxIWU speakers calls Bloomington-Normal home or spent time in the community as a student.

WGLT Corporate Support Director Bobby Nash Castillo, a former Chicago-suburbanite, served as a tour guide while attending IWU. His talk, “Community Blooming,” will take the audience on a photo tour of the IWU campus and the community he came to know and love.

Castillo said he too became a fan of TED working with the ARC.

“We could really start to think of more innovative ways to help the community through watching TED talks.”  

TED began in 1984 as a conference discussing Technology, Entertainment and Design and is now a global community of speakers covering a range of issues in 18-minute-or-less talks.

“They really are great ideas,” Castillo said. “They sort of present a paradigm shift in terms of how you should think about things.”

Choban said a new IWU marketing campaign, “Be Breakthrough,” helped inspire the night’s theme.

“The breakthrough moment for me is when you realize a calling or passion,” Choban said. “When I was a student...I certainly didn’t think that I would still be living here when I was 30. But the more I got involved in the community, the more I realized this is somewhere I do want to be.”

View the full list of speakers and pre-register for Friday’s event online.